Some fans: Pitino is too defense oriented. He doesn't build offensive teams. We rely on defense too much.
Me: Bullshit. That's arm-chair coaching, over-the-top nitpicking and, as I believe I will point out after the jump, just really wrong.
First and foremost, let's recheck who we're talking about. Then let's look at this recent grousing and what it really means.
Recheck who we're talking about. As is being written yet again in many an article today, the only coach to lead three different schools to the Final Four is winning these past two seasons despite serious roster challenges. Yes, all teams have injuries, including some worthy of Sportscenter mention (i.e. OSU's Sullinger). As most of us know however, UL's injuries on the whole are at a headline making level.
Swopshire's groin injury never heals. Rakeem Buckles (knee) out for year. Louisville's Blackshear has season-ending injury. Louisville's Marra has season-ending ACL injury. Van Treese Out Indefinitely For UofL Basketball. Louisville PG Siva doubtful with sprained ankle. Louisville injuries just keep piling up. Justice breaks nose. Pitino doesn't build offense? Look at those headlines again; they include starting forwards, 5 star AA recruits, backup centers and point guards in and out (mostly out) of the lineup.
Most pundits would tell you Blackshear is unquestionably a headliner scoring threat. 'Rock', too. And if you don't think so, watch what Rock does at Rupp at the end of this month. Pitino doesn't build offense? Did you see the shot King Kyle make last night - after CRP shouted at him to take the shot - after receiving a low pass in his korner with a great defender's hand in his face? Coach Pitino developed Kuric into quite an offensive threat. This is the kid from southern Indiana over whom many fans pondered why the publicity.
The point is that Coach recruited and built offensive, but simply hasn't gotten to use it yet. And the fact that he has our program off to back to back 7-0 season starts for the first time in history should be enough for fans to stop yapping for a while.
My bottom line: Minimize the nay-saying and negative nit-picking. If you must, be sure to place it in good context, because it seems like there's no pleasing some of you. (Check the Vandy game open thread for complaints just after the win.) Celebrate our successes and focus on the positives.